As I Sat Writing – From the Autobiography of William Faulkner.
[Originally published September 8, 2010.]
I mislike having to get up to make my own lunch. Some things must be done, and Lord knows I know that more than ere a man, but Lord knows I mislike it. I ask my wife if she would like to make me a sandwich. “I hate to be beholden to you,” I says, “but I am so busy writing this autobiography, and it bein so hot an all and me bein so hungry I sure would like a sandwich.”
A turkey sandwich. Lord knows it would be a comfort.
He ought to make that sandwich hisself. I tell him that. “You ought to make it yourself,” I tell him. Lord knows I told him that he ought to make that sandwich hisself. But he don’t listen. I reckon I been making his sandwiches so long he don’t ere know how to make it hisself. I can not bear the thought of him going hungry, and dying of hunger and not finishing his auto-biography and whatnot, so I decide to make the sandwich. I’m a good woman, and a good woman always makes a sandwich for her husband who’s writing his auto-biography, the preacher always says. My reward will come in Heaven, Lord knows. But I do wish he would stop his writing and make hisself a sandwich. And maybe after that get a real job.
I come in the kitchen. Ma is making Pa a sandwich. He is writing his auto-biography. I want the sandwich. “Ma, I want a sandwich,” I says. “No,” she says. I reckon I can’t have that sandwich. I reckon I’ll have to make my own sandwich.
God surely knows that I would not be beholden to no woman, but oh how I need that sandwich. If I could just have it, then I surely would finish my writing. That sandwich would be a comfort. Lord knows what a comfort it would be. Lord, I wish that that sandwich were is, for when the sandwich is is then I will be is eating and when I am is eating then hunger will be was. And if hunger was was then I would be is not hungry. William Junior is not is hungry because he does not know that if he ate the sandwich then he would be is not hungry. Actually, that’s not that hard to understand. He probably gets that.
My father is a sandwich.
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